VEGAN SHEPHERD'S PIE

Good morning!  How's everyone doing today?  Hope you all slept well!  Today I am sharing my recipe for shepherd's pie.  This is a cozy, comforting meal during the chilly winter months (not that I truly know what winter is), great for a big group and also tastes great as leftovers. Shepherd's pie (or cottage pie originally) is typically a meat pie with mashed potatoes on the bottom, and then a crust of mashed potatoes on top.  Sounds heavy, huh?  It began in Ireland and the U.K. during the 1700's when potatoes were a major crop available to the poor.  Nowadays it is a traditional English/Irish dish that is eaten often, and usually has some veggies in it.

I don't know about you, but I love mashed potatoes! So while I don't eat meat, I decided to make my own version of shepherd's pie.  It actually ended up begin completely vegan and gluten-free (until Greg asked for cheese on his), and super simple to make.  Give it a try!

Side note: these aren't the prettiest of photos!  Sorry!

photo 1

photo 1

Shepherd's Pie, serves 8

2 lbs. potatoes (I used 2/3 sweet potatoes and 1/3 russet potatoes) 1 c. red split lentils (or any lentils) 1 yellow onion, diced 3 carrots, chopped 2 celery stalks, chopped 2 tsp. sea salt 1 tsp. cumin 1 tsp. dried rosemary 1 tsp. crushed red chiles 1 tsp. garlic powder 1 tbsp. olive oil, not pictured cornstarch, to thickness, optional, not pictured shredded cheese (your fave), to taste, optional, not pictured

Begin by preparing your potatoes, and note that this can change depending on what type you are using.  If you are using both sweet potatoes and russet potatoes (or just sweet potatoes), bake at 400° for 45-60 minutes (depending on size).  Once cooked and cooled, peel and remove insides, then place them in a bowl.  If you are only using white potatoes, you can also boil them (peel first).  Once potatoes are done, mash them and salt as needed.  You can also add butter or cream/milk if you like.

photo 2

photo 2

While the potatoes are cooking, start you pie!  Using lentils as a base (instead of meat) turned out soooo good, but you could also use beans, cubed potatoes, more veggies, etc.  Start cooking your lentils as directed (mine took about 15 minutes).  While the lentils are cooking, saute your veggies in another pan.  Add veggies and spices to lentils, and add in cornstarch if it needs to be thickened.

photo 3

photo 3

End by adding the mashed potatoes to the top of the lentil and veggie mixture, top with cheese if desired, and bake at 350° for 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.  Also, I used a 9" cast iron skillet, but if you don't have one, simply cook in another skillet and transfer to an oven safe dish at the end.

photo 4

photo 4

This photo doesn't do it justice!  Ha!  I love that this recipe is not only comforting, but healthy and nutritious, too!  Win-win!  Enjoy!

xo.  Jen